Stop Your Cat’s Mission of Destruction

Your cat Buster has finally discovered his life’s mission. Buster gave dog bullying a try, but he discovered that harassing your Labrador retriever Hunter just didn’t provide the satisfaction he wanted. Since Buster recently began shredding your furniture, though, he seems like he’s finally content. Buster has spent long hours digging your living room furniture into small bits of fabric and stuffing. When Buster grows tired of the upholstery, he puts his sharp little teeth to work, gnawing on the furniture’s nice wooden frame and legs. You know that scratching helps Buster to trim his claws and strengthen his paw muscles; however, his choice of scratching objects simply isn’t acceptable. You’ve asked your veterinarian from Carmel to give Buster some old-fashioned behavioral counseling. Learn more about other strategies that could also work.

Decreased Claw Damage

If you can make Buster’s claws a little duller, he won’t be able to inflict as much damage on your furniture. Ask your vet to trim Buster’s little razors during your cat’s next regular exam. If you (and your furniture) can’t wait until then, your vet’s staff can schedule a brief nail-clipping appointment.

Annoying Scratching Experience

Make Buster’s next scratching session as miserable as possible, and he’ll likely think twice about repeating that experience. Blanket your furniture with sandpaper or plastic wrap, neither of which will appeal to Buster. When Buster’s sensitive little paws hit the abrasive sandpaper, or get caught in the sticky plastic wrap, he’ll probably head for the hills very quickly. Since Buster will probably return, keep the furniture covered until you’re absolutely convinced Buster has abandoned his furniture-scratching project.

Pleasing Scratching Alternative

Now that you’ve captured Buster’s attention, provide him with a similarly textured scratching surface that meets with your approval. Position a carpeted or sisal-covered scratching post near Buster’s favorite couch or chair. If he’s currently working on the furniture legs, place a cedar scratching post next to that target.

Punishment’s Off the Table

While you’d love to punish Buster for his behavior, he won’t understand what he did wrong. Buster will also assume that he’ll receive that punishment every time you interact with him. Also, punishing Buster won’t solve the problem, as he’ll just wait until you leave to resume his scratching work.

Since you don’t want Buster to get bored with his new scratching surfaces, regularly introduce new scratching objects to your busy little feline. Also, ask your Carmel vet if spritzing a feline pheromone on the objects, or sprinkling enticing catnip on them, will consume Buster’s attention and make him forget about the furniture forever.

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